Cam­paign out to get au­to­cor­rect to change its ways

Sunday Times - - News | Discrimination - By SUTHENTIRA GOVEN­DER

● What’s in a name? Just ask Nando’s, which is fired up on the sub­ject.

When the chicken fran­chise no­ticed that on­line spell check­ers still treated its name as a mis­take af­ter 30 years in busi­ness, its feath­ers were ruf­fled.

It got the com­pany think­ing about other South African names that were treated as mis­takes, and it de­cided to do some­thing about it by launch­ing the #right­my­name cam­paign.

In a 30-sec­ond video posted on so­cial me­dia plat­forms, Nando’s takes on spell check­ers and au­to­cor­rect func­tions to make sure South African names such as Tshilidzi, Tshed­i­motso, Nawaal and Kobus are recog­nised by lo­cal writ­ing apps.

On Hu­man Rights Day, South Africans will be able to down­load the list and up­date their com­put­ers’ in­ter­nal dic­tio­nary so that their names won’t ever again be un­der­lined in the text to sig­nify a spelling er­ror. The Nando’s punch­line is “You’re not a mis­take”.

“Nando’s started the cam­paign to ad­dress a chal­lenge within the or­gan­i­sa­tion, where South African names, in­clud­ing Nando’s and PERi-PERi [its house sauce], were high­lighted as er­rors by spell check,” said Doug Place, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer of Nando’s South­ern Africa.

“Based on the need and re­sponse in­ter­nally, Nando’s de­cided to take this to the pub­lic so that ev­ery South African can no longer have their name ap­pear as an er­ror.”

More than 12 000 names have been added so far and the list is grow­ing.

“Why are names like Nokuthula, Elodie, Darawees and Te­batso . . . high­lighted as mis­takes too? Not cool,” he said.

The video has reached more than 750 000 peo­ple, with ap­prox­i­mately 2 500 re­ac­tions on Face­book.

You can add your name at right­my­

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